On Sunday, November 6, 1977, the Joint Committee of the East Indian Defence Committee, the West Indian People’s Organization and the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee organized a demonstration and rally in Toronto, to oppose state-organized racist attacks. 1,500 people participated in the demonstration which began at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall in Toronto. Later the demonstration marched to Queen’s Park, the seat of the provincial government, and then to the rally against state-organized racist attacks, which was held at 4:00 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building Auditorium of the University of Toronto. The people from the East Indian and West Indian communities came en masse and justly showed their anger against the state-organized racist attacks. Several hundred Canadians joined the Canadians of East Indian and West Indian origin, showing the unity of the entire Canadian people against state-organized racist attacks. Demonstrators came to the November 6 action at the call of the East Indian Defence Committee, the West Indian People’s Organization and the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee. People from the Sikh temples also vigorously participated in the demonstration. The demonstrators marched in a large formation in Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall, under the slogans Blame the Rich and Not the People for Racist Attacks!, Self-Defence Is the Only Way!, and other slogans.
The demonstrators vigorously shouted these slogans in unison, and with fists raised, in a powerful mass action to vigorously denounce the state-organized racist attacks. The people who came to Nathan Phillips Square, both demonstrators and passers-by, were very happy about the militant demonstration which was organized by the Joint Committee. Many people joined the demonstration. Scores of people held vigorous discussions with comrades from the Joint Committee all over the square. Thousands of leaflets issued by the EIDC, WIPO, CPDC and the Joint Committee were distributed. As well, many copies of The West Indian, newspaper of the West Indian People’s Organization, and Lok Awaz, newspaper of the East Indian community, were well received by the people. Despite the activities of the agents provocateurs, the opportunists and traitors to the community, to split the people and disrupt the demonstration, the November 6 mass action was successful.
Following the demonstration, a vigorous mass rally was held by the Joint Committee, in which more than 600 people participated. The auditorium where the rally was held was filled to overflowing.
The rally was addressed by representatives of the member organizations of the Joint Committee. The main speaker at the rally was Comrade Hardial Bains, Chairman of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and national leader of the East Indian community.
Comrade Bains explained to the people how it is the rich and their state who profit from the oppression of the immigrants, how they organize racist attacks against the immigrants, and how the immigrants have no choice but to defend themselves against these attacks.
The representative of WIPO provided many examples of state-organized attacks on West Indians, by the police, the immigration authorities, the media, education system and the capitalists at the work place. He showed how the line that the racist attacks on the West Indian community were diminishing was a false line which was meant to divert the people from the path of self-defence against racist attacks, relying on their own strength, and keeping the initiative in their own hands in fighting these attacks.
The representative of EIDC delivered a militant speech, in which he recalled the fighting traditions of the East Indian community in fighting state-organized racist attacks.
The representative of the CPDC pointed out that the Canadian state is the state of the rich, which exploits and oppresses the people, and the people cannot rely on the state to find a solution to their problems. Only by following the line of Self-Defence Is the Only Way! and resolutely fighting back against all the attacks of the state, in whatever form, can these state-organized attacks be defeated by the people.
The rally was followed by a brief cultural programme, with presentations from conirades of both the East Indian and West Indian communities. The rally ended with a message of greeting from the representative of the People’s Front of Chile who saluted the struggle against racist attacks waged by the Joint Committee and spoke briefly about the heroic struggle being waged by the Chilean people against the fascist Pinochet regime.
The November 6 action was well publicized. The call for the November 6 demonstration and rally was issued by the Joint Committee on October 21, entitled Blame the Rich and Not the People for Racist Attacks! In addition to widespread publicity through leaflets, posters, etc., meetings were held at the University of Toronto, York University, and in East Toronto to popularize the line of the Joint Committee: Blame the Rich and Not the People for Racist Attacks! Self-Defence Is the Only Way! On November 4, the Joint Committee issued a press release, entitled “There Is One Struggle Against Racist Attacks”, to oppose the provocations and confusion-making by the capitalist press.
The November 6 action is part and parcel of the large-scale, national campaign being organized by the Joint Committee to oppose state-organized racist attacks.
The November 6 mass action is the most recent in the developing struggle of the Canadian people against state-organized racist attacks. In the last year, the state began escalating its racist attacks right from the beginning of the year. The people also launched their resistance to these attacks right from the start of the year, as the East Indian Defence Committee organized a demonstration in Toronto against state-organized racist attacks. The vigorous spirit of Self-Defence Is the Only Way! has developed throughout the year, and the mass actions against state-organized racist attacks have grown as well. On March 19, 1977, another demonstration was held in Toronto against state-organized racist attacks, organized by EIDC and the West Indian People’s Organization . Also, the organizing committee’ to establish the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee participated in the demonstration. This was the first joint action by the groups which later united in the Joint Committee in order to escalate the struggle against state-organized racist attacks.
On July 28, 1977, the current campaign against the state-organized racist attacks led by the Joint Committee began with the release of the statement: “Vigorously Fight State-Organized Racist Attacks on Immigrants!” This was a call by EIDC, WIPO and CPDC for national action on August 1 against the anti-immigrant Bill C-24 and other state-organized attacks on immigrants. On August 1, a national demonstration was held on Parliament Hill, and nation-wide demonstrations against state-organized racist attacks were held from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver. The August 1 action was followed by a series of demonstrations and rallies organized by the three organizations in the Joint Committee. Demonstations and meetings were held in Toronto, St. Catherines, Hamilton and in other cities in southern Ontario
The campaign against state-organized racist attacks is vigorously developing, and more actions are being planned by the Joint Committee.
(People’s Canada Daily News, Volume 7, No. 266, November 7, 1977)